Giving up “House” for the White House

April 7, 2009

He escaped from Guantanamo, inhaled and went in search of White Castle burgers, journeyed in search of his Indian heritage, and then became a doctor (who committed suicide this week).

Now it’s time for a reality show on politics. Actor Kal Penn has landed a job at the White House where the pay isn’t as great as in Hollywood but the scenery is different.USA-OBAMA/

No one bats an eye any more at the jump from acting to politics given the history of President Ronald Reagan, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former senator and presidential candidate Fred Thompson (who jumped back into acting).

Penn, who worked on President Barack Obama’s campaign, will be an associate director in the White House office of public liaison working with the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and arts groups, says White House spokesman Shin Inouye.

“It’s been called the front door to the White House through which everyone can participate and inform the work of the president,” Inouye said.

Penn starred in the movies “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle,” “The Namesake,” and “Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.”

He most recently played Dr. Lawrence Kutner in the television series “House.” That character committed suicide in Monday’s episode, freeing the actor to take up his new job.

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Photo Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Penn speaks during inaugural celebration at Lincoln Memorial)

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